On the last page of “The Art of the Theatre: The First Dialogue” (1905), Edward Gordon Craig's Stage Director says: "I am now going to tell you out of what material an artist of the theatre of the future will create his masterpieces. Out of ACTION, SCENE, and VOICE. Is it not very simple?" Theatre must search for its own language, Craig believed—as Antonin Artaud and Jerzy Grotowski likewise argued, decades later. This idea nourished the experimental theatre of the second half of the twentieth century and remains crucial within contemporary notions of Practice-as-Research.
According to Craig, theatre was to be placed in the hands of a theatre-artist, someone able to select the appropriate materials and shape them into a production. While this figure is to some extent equivalent to the modern director, not every director is an artist, as Craig himself pointed out. In his extraordinary essay “On the Actor and the Über-Marionette” of 1908, he posited the possibility of actors themselves becoming artists.
Craig's own shift from an emphasis on dramatic literature to one on theatre practice marks a larger move in the field from nineteenth-century naturalism to twentieth-century abstraction. Within his own work, this shift led Craig to consider an extensive range of theatrical forms and productions; refusing to settle on one as exhausting theatre’s possibilities, he praised instances of the Art of the Theatre wherever he found it—regardless of whether the actors were even human beings. Craig’s “simple” vision has long been celebrated, yet its theoretical and historical complexity is often ignored and for most of the past century Craig has been recognized primarily for his achievements in visual design and for his (impossible?) provocation of replacing the actor with the Über-Marionette. To spark dialogue about the role of his ideas and achievements in theatrical art more generally, Action, Scene and Voice proposes to re-examine the work of Edward Gordon Craig, its context, and its legacy.
Sub-topics bearing on Craig’s oeuvre might include but need not be limited to:
- devising groups, and the actor as artist
- the Über-Marionette in the digital age
- narrative and words in Craig’s oeuvre and today
- object animation
- solo performance
- Craig’s legacy and technologies in performing arts
- Craig’s Hamlet and other productions
- theatre space
- total theatre
- the spectator
- Craig and interdisciplinarity
- Craig’s legacy and post-humanist performance
- the director
- Craig and the historical avant-garde
- Craig as collaborator
- Craig and women
- Craig and performance theory
- Craig and Italy
- Craig and the Commedia dell'Arte
- Craig and the Greeks
- Craig and Shakespeare
- Craig and Victorian theatre
- Craig and the theatres of South East Asia, Japan and China
- Craig and the legacies of theatrical families (Ellen Terry, Edith Craig, Godwin, Henry Irving etc).
Please send 250-word abstracts and a two-page CV (including institutional affiliation and contact information) by 1 September 2012 to Thomas Leabhart: email@example.com. Applicants will be notified of their status by 1 October 2012.
Selected papers will be considered for publication in Theatre Arts Journal: Studies in Scenography and Performance, an electronic and peer-reviewed scholarly journal (www.taj.tau.ac.il).
Co-Chairs: Thomas Leabhart (Pomona College), Juliet Koss (Scripps College), Cathy Seaman (Program Administrator, Pomona College Theatre)
Organizing Committee: Franc Chamberlain (University of Huddersfield, UK); Irene Eynat-Confino (Tel Aviv University); Eric Haskell (Scripps College); Thomas Price (National Dong Hua Unversity, Hualen, Taiwan and former Philbrick Library Archivist); James Taylor (Pomona College)
Advisory Committee: Jean-Marie Apostolidès (Stanford University); Marc Duvillier (University of Paris 3); Kimberly Jannarone (University of California, Santa Cruz); Didier Plassard (Université Paul Valéry – Montpellier 3); Leonard Pronko (Pomona College); Olga Taxidou (University of Edinburgh)
THE PHILBRICK LIBRARY AT POMONA COLLEGE
Housed in Special Collections, Honnold/Mudd Library, the Geraldine Womack and Norman D. Philbrick Library of Dramatic Arts and Theatre History is a major research collection on the history of English and American drama of the late seventeenth through the mid-twentieth centuries. Many of the greatest names in English theater, Edward Gordon Craig, David Garrick, Edmund Kean, Sarah Siddons, the several members of the Kemble family, Henry Irving, and Ellen Terry, among many others, are represented here in original manuscripts, published memoirs, biographies, and portraits. There are important editions of Shakespeare, including the second Folio (1632) and prompt books, and good scholarly books on theater history as well.
In total, the Philbrick Library consists of over ten thousand books, pamphlets, and periodicals; letters, framed portraits, posters, photographs, and set and costume designs; a large collection of loose portraits; English and American playbills; manuscripts; and several stage models.
Among the important unique resources in the Philbrick Library are two thousand pieces of correspondence and printed ephemera by well-known individuals associated with the theater. Digitized here are the letters from the Keans, Sarah Siddons, Henry Irving, and other noted figures. As more letters and ephemera are digitized, they will be added to the digital collection until all of theatrical correspondence is available online.
The Philbrick Collection contains Gordon Craig's last personal collection of works the artist cherished most, including his largest graphic, the "Gold Court Scene" of Hamlet (Act 1, Scene 2), designed for the famous production with Stanislavsky at the Moscow Art Theatre in 1910. Among its other treasures are many annotated woodcut proofs for the English and German Cranach Press editions of Hamlet, plus many other woodcuts and etchings, along with two watercolors, one of Hamlet and the other a landscape. The collection also contains very rare first editions, such as Isadora Duncan, Six Movement Designs (Insel Verlag,1906), and the famous "Frozen Motion Studies" for Scene (Oxford 1924), A Production: Designs for Ibsen's Pretenders (Oxford, 1930), plus complete runs of The Page and The Mask, including the mock-up of a volume of the latter. There is also correspondence by Craig and Ellen Terry and G.B. Shaw, much of it unpublished; two scrapbooks, one on Sir Henry Irving, including pen and ink drawings by Marion Clarkson of Irving's production of Hamlet; heavily annotated books on theatre by other authors, as well as unpublished photographs of EGC taken by his natural son, David Lees. The Philbrick Collection ranks with the Craig holdings in the Bibliothèque Nationale as one of the major sources of research and reevaluation of the scenographer's works.
The late Dr. and Mrs. Philbrick both graduated from Pomona College. Their collection was dedicated in Honnold Library on November 8, 1986
Pomona College, a top-ranked liberal arts college, offers approximately 1,500 students--evenly divided between men and women--a comprehensive curriculum in the arts, humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. With a student-faculty ratio of eight to one, students have the opportunity to work closely and collaboratively with professors who are also top scholars in their fields. Students and faculty challenge each other in laboratories, classrooms, and co-curricular activities, and everyone benefits from the energy generated by sharp and eager minds. Friendships forged among Pomona faculty and students frequently endure far beyond the four years of college.
THE CLAREMONT COLLEGES
Seven educational institutions now constitute The Claremont Colleges: Pomona College, founded in 1887; Claremont Graduate University, 1925; Scripps College, 1926: Claremont McKenna College, 1946; Harvey Mudd College, 1955; Pitzer College, 1963; and the Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Sciences, 1997. The Claremont Colleges enroll more than 6,300 full-time students. The combined faculty consists of nearly 700 professors, with approximately 1600 staff and support personnel. Presently more than 2000 courses are offered to students attending the colleges. This is an impressive academic assemblage for an area that is only one square mile, and it is a classic example of the whole exceeding the sum of its parts. Each year, students take roughly 6000 courses at a campus other than their home campus — about 16 percent of the total courses offered. This cross-registration is one of the consortium's most remarkable qualities. Undergraduate students experience the advantage of an array of course offerings found only in the most select universities. The Claremont Colleges are nationally and internationally renowned for academic excellence.
OEEOur location--within an hour’s drive of the Pacific Ocean, the Mojave Desert, the San Gabriel Mountains and the city of Los Angeles--informs and shapes daily life at the College. There aren't many places in the world where you can ski in the morning, play on the beach in the afternoon, and take in a major league baseball game or an opera in the evening. But beyond the recreational and cultural possibilities, our location also adds another dimension to the learning experience, with unequalled opportunities for field study, community involvement and internships.
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